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Mikel Arteta's Arsenal debut - Who were the players and where are they now?

06:41 BST 23/04/2022
Mikel Arteta Arsenal debut
The former Spanish midfielder joined Arsenal from Everton...

Mikel Arteta joined Arsenal on August 31, 2011 on a four-year deal for a transfer fee of £10 million from Everton. He made his debut just a few days later on September 10, 2011 against Swansea at the Emirates Stadium.

Along with him, German defender Per Mertesacker also played his first game for Arsenal on that day. Arsenal won the match 1-0 after Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm's misplaced clearance fell for Andrey Arshavin and the Russian made no mistake to slot the ball home.

Meanwhile, Arteta shone brightly in midfield with his surging runs and varied passing ability. He set up Aaron Ramsey within two minutes, but the latter could not keep his shot on target. However, he was pleased to get the three points on his debut.

"It was important to get the three points and we've done it. It was important to forget about what happened two weeks ago [the 8-2 defeat against Manchester United]. It's been good. We had the chances early on to get the game in our hands and we didn't take them and then it was a bit harder. It wasn't easy but I'm glad for the debut and glad for the three points," he stated after the match.

  • Szczęsny Arsenal

    Wojciech Szczęsny - GK

    The Polish goalkeeper joined the youth ranks of Arsenal in 2006. He made his debut in a Football League Cup third round match against West Brom in a 2-0 home win. He made a couple of important saves in that match, first to deny Danny Graham from close range and then again later in the match with a low reaction stop.

    Szczesny left Arsenal permanently in 2017 after spending a couple of seasons on loan at Roma. Thereafter, he joined Juventus and continues to play in Turin.

  • Samir Nasri Bacary Sagna Arsenal Manchester City

    Bacary Sagna - RB

    The French full-back joined Arsenal from Auxerre 2007 and played until 2014. He later joined Manchester City where he spent three seasons. Sagna last played for MLS side Montreal Impact before retiring from professional football in 2019.

  • Per Mertesacker Borussia Dortmund Arsenal Champions League 16092014

    Per Mertesacker - CB

    The German centre-back settled in quickly in his new surroundings and appeared for every single Premier League match in his first month as an Arsenal player. He retired from professional football as an Arsenal player in 2018 and then remained at the club as Head of Academy. He continues to hold the position to date.

  • Laurent Koscielny:Arsenal

    Laurent Koscielny - CB

    The French defender joined Arsenal in 2010 and made his debut in a pre-season friendly against Barnet. He spent a decade at Arsenal before moving to Bordeaux in 2019. On March 26, 2022 he announced his retirement from football.

  • Kieran Gibbs Arsenal

    Kieran Gibbs - LB

    After graduating from Arsenal's youth system, Kieran Gibbs was promoted to the senior team in 2007. He stayed at the club until 2017. During his stint with the Gunners, he had spent one season on loan at Norwich City (2008). After leaving Arsenal, he spent four seasons at West Bromwich Albion. In 2021, he joined David Beckham-owned MLS club Inter Miami.

  • Aaron Ramsey HD

    Aaron Ramsey - CDM

    The midfielder joined Arsenal in 2008 from Cardiff City. He spent his best years at the north-London club winning the FA Cup thrice and the Community Shield twice. In the winter transfer window of 2019, he joined Juventus from Arsenal. Currently, he is playing on loan at Rangers FC in Scotland.

  • Frimpong Arsenal

    Emmanuel Frimpong - CDM

    The Ghanaian is a product of the Arsenal academy as he joined them at the age of nine. He made his Premier League debut for Arsenal against Newcastle United on 13 August 2011, when he was introduced as a second-half substitute for Tomáš Rosický. However, his career at Arsenal failed to gain wind and after a series of loan spells, he left the club in 2014. In 2017, he joined Cyprus club Ermis Aradippou, which turned out to be his last professional club as he retired from football in 2019. In an interview with Sport24 in 2021, he shared that he wants to become an adult entertainer.

  • Theo Walcott Arsenal Premier League 011114

    Theo Walcott - RW

    Theo Walcott joined Arsenal in 2006 and spent over a decade at the Emirates. He made 398 appearances for the Gunners and scored 108 goals in this period. In 2018, he left the club and joined Everton. He is currently playing for Southampton in the Premier League.

  • Arshavin Arsenal 04212009

    Andrey Arshavin - LW

    Arshavin joined the Gunners in 2009 and spent five seasons at the club. He had moved to Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2012 and made his move permanent in 2013. He later played for Russian side Kuban Krasnodar and then joined Kazakhstani side Kairat from where he retired in 2018.

  • Robin van Persie Arsenal

    Robin van Persie - FW

    The star player joined Arsenal in 2004 and spent nine seasons at the club. He left ARsenal to join Manchester United in 2012 much to the ire of the Gooners. He retired from professional football in 2019. After retirement, he currently works as a strikers' coach at Feyenoord.

  • Francis Coquelin Arsenal London AS Monaco Champions League  02252015

    Francis Coquelin - CDM (Sub)



    In 2008, Francis Coquelin joined the club from Stade Lavallois after a successful trial. He stayed at the club till 2017 before moving to Valencia. In the summer of 2020, he joined fellow La Liga rivals, Villarreal, on a four-year deal and is currently playing at the La Ceramica.
  • Benayoun Arsenal

    Yossi Benayoun - LW (Sub)



    Benayoun joined Arsenal as a loanee on August 31, 2011 from Chelsea. He played 19 games for Arsenal and scored four goals. He is currently the sporting director for Beitar Jerusalem, the club that he last played for.
  • Marouane Chamakh Arsenal Premier League

    Marouane Chamakh - FW

    Chamakh joined Arsenal in 2010 on a free transfer from Bordeaux. He made 67 appearances for Arsenal and scored 14 goals during his stay at the club. In May 2019 he announced his retirement from football after playing for Cardiff City. He is currently preparing to become a coach in the future.


    "I have sports projects. In 2 years I hope to graduate and also train a team. Today, I am convinced of what I want to do, that is to say that I want to coach and train ”, he stated to the official website of Bordeaux in 2021.